Not long after I wrote my post last night, I heard the first news of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The news was so incredible that I wondered if I should post to my blog again, but I thought I'd wait and see what developed.
Of course, by now we're all seeing what's developing, and it's seriously scary. Hubby and I just watched the news and we learned that a quarter of Japan has suffered, and it's not over yet. Can you imagine? And Japan is a nation whose buildings are meant to withstand earthquakes!
I grew up in San Jose, and we had tons of earthquakes. For several years, I worked on the 13th and 14th floors of a downtown office building that had been built to ride out earthquakes, but that knowledge didn't make it any easier to remain calm up there, looking out over the valley floor and surrounding hills as the building swayed back and forth each time a large-ish earthquake struck. I've always thought that one of the biggest attributes of Sacramento is its lack of earthquakes; in fact, as we were watching the news tonight, I told Hubby that I'm quite grateful I live and work in single-story buildings. Of course, that's no guarantee that an earthquake will never hit or that we'll be safe if it does, but it's all relative; at least it FEELS safer.
I don't recall hearing much about tsunamis when I was a kid, even though I lived only a half hour or so inland. One summer, though, my family was camped in a trailer at the beach when word came in the middle of the night of an earthquake in Alaska, and the beach campers were evacuated, cutting our vacation short. Looking back, I think that must have been the summer after the March 1964 earthquake in Alaska that resulted in a tsunami that devastated Crescent City--a city that has again been hit hard by this new tsunami. Santa Cruz, too, took a big hit this time--and Santa Cruz is only a few miles north of that beach we were evacuated from when I was a kid.
Of course, when I was a kid and we were evacuated from the beach in the middle of the night, it was simply another adventure to us. Except for the fact that we ended up with two days less to spend on the beach, it would have been wonderfully exciting. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of kids in Japan--and Crescent City, Hawaii, and Santa Cruz--who aren't finding this experience at all wonderful or exciting; not in a good way. And I hope that for many, the worst that has happened is a change in plans for a little while, but I'm sadly certain that it's much, much more than that for so many more.